Consulate General Gregory Slayton joined us for what may be his last speech before he and his family leave Bermuda.  He felt a great bond with Rotarians as his father was a long standing Rotarian and so Service above Self was something he had been bought up with.  On August 15th 2005 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swore him into office and he felt very strongly that the Bermuda US relationship are vital links to each other and must continue.

 

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2005-2009

It's been a very busy and productive four years. I believe that we have made a difference on a variety of fronts:

  Led four historic diplomatic visits of Bermuda's premier and deputy premier to meet with         political leaders in Washington, including POTUS and Secretary of State

  Published the first Book describing four centuries of friendship between the US and      Bermuda. (Four Centuries of Friendship: America-Bermuda Relations 1609-2009)

  Created the 'Friendship Wall at both the American Consulate and the US Preclearance facility at the airport, depicting America and Bermuda's historic friendship.

  Commissioned the 9/11 Memorial in the Botanical Gardens.

  Created the Consulate's first public diplomacy program and Econ/Commercial section

  Numerous public diplomacy events:  Independence Day Celebrations (with up to 7,000             guests), Thanksgiving interfaith services, Harvard in Hamilton for Habitat concerts             (featuring 3 Harvard glee clubs in aid of Habitat for Humanity Bermuda)

  Promoted the "Stay off the Stop List" campaign to educate Bermudians, particularly youth,      to keep themselves off the so-called stop list.

  Sponsored four successive Voluntary Visitor programs for Bermudian professionals to visit        their counterparts in the United States. Topics included healthy families/healthy children,       early childhood education and alternative education.

 

THE FUTURE OF US-BERMUDA RELATIONS

 

  What can we learn from our mutual history?

   Strength in unity, Beware of de-prioritizing the US-Bermuda alliance, promoting a 3-way          partnership.

  Going forward, who holds the key to better US-Bermuda relations?

   The US Consul General, The Premier and Cabinet, The Governor, Leaders of the            local and international business community.

  Fortunately, we have so much in common:  400 year history, mostly positive, deeply       shared cultural values, Common legal tradition,         Vibrant economic and social   interchange, deep family roots, English language.

 

      Both the United States and Bermuda are dependant on our citizens, our common institutions and our civil society, including: freedom of the press, mutual respect for opposing viewpoints and civil debate of all issues, a strong and vibrant opposition party, the importance of ensuring a good education for all, the rule of law, responsibility of each citizen to give back to society.

      He thanked Bermuda for making this a wonderful home for him and his family during their tour of duty.

            The thanks of the club were given PP Owen noting that as an 88 year old "Geriatric" Rotarian who was half American, his mother came to Bermuda and married a Bermudian. He felt was eminently qualified to thank our guest speaker, which he did with his usual flair.